Tuesday, December 05, 2006

To Armor or Not to Armor, That is the Question.

Not quite shakespear but it is a crucial question that coastal communities ask themselves every year. The problem, as I see it, is that we have built on the coast and now we realize that all our structures are vulnerable if intense storms become more frequent.

City and county governments are faced with the unpalatable choice of spending millions on seawalls and other armoring, leaving property (and people) at risk, or "deconstructing" human structures.

None of these are easy. In the final analysis, armoring is probably the most palatable from a political perspective.

What we need is a focused and realistic planning model for communities that face this discussion so that they can make a sensible combination of decisions - some armoring, some dedevelopment, and some temporary and cyclicla protection 9such as renourishing beaches).

1 comment:

Andy said...

What about strategic retreat (removal &/or relocation) or a combination of retreat and more traditional strategies? Any solution, if there is a solution, is going to be unpalatable to one or more stakeholder groups. But if we are going to manage our developed and developing coasts in a sustainable manner, that's just the way it has to be.